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BRUCE PRICHARD Something to Wrestle With Interview

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While many remember him as the red-faced preacher Brother Love, Bruce Prichard has gone on to create the podcast “Something to Wrestle With”, where alongside Conrad Thompson, Pritchard reminisces on his life and memories of the WWE. Hitting Australian shores in March, Pritchard is bringing the live show of Something to Wrestle With to the East Coast. HEAVY caught up with Bruce to talk all things podcasting, wrestling history, and what’s in store for the future of the WWE.

“Something To Wrestle With”, BRUCE PRICHARD LIVE March 2019 Dates:

Friday 22nd SYDNEY, Factory Theatre

Saturday 23rd MELBOURNE, The Thornbury Theatre

Sunday 24th BRISBANE, The Triffid

Tickets on sale: Wednesday 28th November @ 10:00am local

TIX @ https://tickets.destroyalllines.com

 

Have you been keeping an eye on the Australian wrestling scene and will you be hitting up any shows while you’re here?

Well, I would love to hit up some shows but my schedule is pretty tight. I’m going from show to show to show and unfortunately, I haven’t really kept up with the local Australian wrestling scene, but I can promise you by the time I get there I’m gonna brush up on it and know what’s going on down under.

What can we expect from your shows and how does the podcast translate to a live setting?

It’s going to be a solo show, a one man show and it’ll be more intimate, just talking about my personal history. Its an extremely interactive show with the audience –  I love to get audience questions and comments about the show and kind of divert whatever direction the audience would like to go. I will be telling some stories that I can’t tell on the podcast because they may be a bit too salacious, or have to deal with drugs or something like that. But all the caricatures I do on the podcast, from Vince McMahon to Dusty Rhodes to Jim Cornette, I’m bringing them all along with me, and I might sing a song or two and maybe even a dance.

What has been your favourite episode to record and reminisce on, and which has been hardest?

My favourite is the Houston wrestling episode because it went back into my history of how I got into the wrestling business and I got to revisit things as a kid and how I broke into wrestling so that one was personal to me. In addition to that, it had lost when we had done polls and asked the audience “what do you want to hear about” and vote on the next subject. Houston wrestling lost every time. We even got it down to where there were only two things to vote on and Houston wrestling lost by one percent. But after we did it, it has become one of our most downloaded shows ever. In terms of most difficult, that’s doing a retrospect on Bobby Heenan right after he passed away. That was really difficult for me because I had travelled to Tampa for Bobby’s funeral. We were planning on recording that night so I had to do it on location and it was just really difficult for me because I’m not sure I had completely processed his death yet.

What other podcasts do you listen to and what prompted the decision to turn your own experiences into a podcast?

As far as other ones – I listen to Stone Cold Steve Austin’s podcast, I love to listen to Steve and he is enjoyable but the funny thing is that since I started our podcast I don’t really have time anymore to listen to a whole lot of anything else. I didn’t want to do a podcast when we started and it was something my partner, Conrad Thompson, had really pushed me to do. We originally did it to sell ads and sell mortgages, the business we were in beforehand, and Conrad is still in. But it became wildly successful, took off, and now I’ve really jumped into the deep end of the pool and really enjoying the podcast experience.

Wrestling has such a power that it becomes entwined with the identity of fans and industry folk a like. What is it about wrestling that is so special and immersive?

I think that it mirrors real life and it allows the viewer to suspend their disbelief and jump into a storyline and forget about everything else that’s going on in their life. They can vicariously live through the characters they see on tv. It really blurs the line between reality and fantasy and the audience members can feel as if they identify with the performers and the performers are fighting for them, or that they’re fighting against someone that they may not like and I think that’s something special that people can relate to.

There seems to be more pressure than ever from fans on creative to provide better storylines – and pressure from old school fans to return to the Attitude Era. What are your thoughts on that?

I don’t think you’re going to see a return to the Attitude Era if only from the standpoint of advertisers and television and the way society is today – I don’t know if many of the things we did in the attitude era would fly today in 2019. So I don’t see it going that way. Also, you listen to the fanbase and what people mistake sometimes, is they mistake the loudest members of the fanbase who may want to point out everything negative. Your fanbase are the people who support your product, buy tickets to your events, watch your television shows and support the product, and they’re going to come no matter what. The people who like to critique, sometimes even those folks, you can give them exactly what they want and they will still find a way to come back and say “you gave me what I wanted but I don’t want that anymore.” It’s a fickle audience, and it’s a fine line to try to please – you cant please everyone all the time so you have to figure out what the best route is that going to please the biggest majority of the audience

What other company if any could come close to starting another Monday Night Wars?

I’m not sure the Monday Night Wars will ever be recreated. There’s AEW which is a new company started by Tony Kahn and his father – the owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars – and they’re billionaires. They have a lot of money and they have a lot of passion but the jury is still out and there’s a lot of questions to be answered as far as how much they really want to invest in the wrestling business. What I mean by that is will this be a live touring company? Are they going to produce television? And these questions haven’t been answered yet. And until that point, WWE is the NFL, they’re the major leagues, and everybody else is, well, everybody else.

Would you consider working with the WWE again, and in what capacity?

I’m going to listen to anybody and everybody. If there was an opportunity to go back and it was the right fit for me. For the first time in my life, I’m in a position where I can pick and choose so its gotta be right for me and my family, but it also has to be right for them [The WWE]. They have to be comfortable with it and I have to be comfortable with it, but I will listen to any and every opportunity that is available out there and who knows? You never say never in this business that’s for sure.

Which superstar from the current era that you wish you could have worked with as Brother Love?

Good question! Wow. I always used to say, Bray Wyatt, because I just enjoy his character so much and he was so unique in his presentation. But I think that right now I’m looking at some of the stars and a guy like Daniel Bryan or a guy like Drew McIntyre would be awesome to be able to work with on a regular basis as Brother Love.

Just on that, could the WWE do with more managers again?

Absolutely! It’s probably the biggest thing I miss watching the current product. I think there is room for more managers and more mouthpieces, and for me, they are sorely missed because a good manager can enhance a talent that may not be able to express themselves verbally. And that’s important because you have to address the audience and be able to tell a good story.

What do you remember about the night that The Undertaker debuted?

It was special because it was the first time I was going out as a manager in the WWE and it was special because this was a character that I had created in my head. I didn’t really know how he was going to be received, but the entire presentation from the music to the way that he looked and everything that was done that night was special – to create a character that here we are thirty years later and that character is still relevant. It was a special day.

You did a lovely tribute episode for Mean Gene last week; do you have any other stories that you would like to share about him?

*laughs* None that I can probably tell. Mean Gene was a unique character in that you would be hard pressed to find anyone that would have a bad word to say about him. That I love. I enjoyed my time with Gene so much, I also had the opportunity so often to be able to enjoy him outside of the business. He and Bobby Heenan were friends and Bobby and I were really close. Gene was one of those special guys that everybody liked, and he was a joy to be around.

For the uninitiated, where do you suggest listeners start with your podcast?

For me, I always tell people to listen to the Houston wrestling episode first, but also the Radicals episode. This was the early episode that we did where we really got our groove, and everything exploded from that episode going forward. I would think if you’re going to start one of those two is the best place.

What can you tell me about being approached by the WWE Network to turn the podcast into a show?

I got a phone call from the executive producer of the television show that asked me if I would be interested in working with them on a project. It’s the same thing I said to you earlier, I am willing to listen to any and every opportunity. As we talked more and more we went through a lot of different iterations of ideas that I had and ideas they had and ended up with “Well why don’t we try this out?” To do a video version of the podcast and utilise footage that was archived that they have to enhance the stories that I tell. That’s how it all started, and as we got into it I discovered that they had so much behind the scenes footage that I didn’t even realise existed. So we started with that and went from there, but they approached me and I thought it was a pretty cool 13 weeks.

Did you ever feel censored by the network with the stories you could tell?

No, not one time. I have full creative control, I produce the show, I’m the one who asks them about the footage and they put the footage in, but as far as all the creative content that was 100% us.

Where did the idea for watch-along podcast episodes come from?

It was something that Conrad had come up with to be more interactive and I think the first one that we did was on the anniversary of a Survivor Series which was a Thanksgiving Eve tradition. We were going to drop the episode early and allow people to listen to it on Thanksgiving which is a Thursday here and normally our shows would drop on Friday. So we dropped it early as a Thanksgiving present and to get it done quickly without having to do a lot of research we said: “Let’s just watch the show and do alternative commentary.” Tony Schiavone does it better than I do because he was a play by play guy but it’s a lot of fun and we find ourselves talking about a lot of other things. But it is something to be more interactive and allows people to watch along if they want. And we try to do it so you don’t have to watch along but its more fun if you do.

What do you think of the WWE’s decision to continue with the Crown Jewel event in Saudi Arabia, even after the death of journalist Jamal Kashoggi?

Well, I don’t think that they’re [the WWE] politically motivated one way or another. They entered into a deal and it was a business situation. From my vantage point, I don’t dabble in politics and I’m not that educated on politics so I don’t want to say one way or another, but it wasn’t their place to get involved in politics. They were contracted for an entertainment show that they were going to deliver and that’s their decision. They have to live with it right or wrong however all that falls out. Sometimes you’ve gotta make decisions and go with them and that’s what they did.

“Something To Wrestle With”, BRUCE PRICHARD LIVE March 2019 Dates:

Friday 22nd SYDNEY, Factory Theatre

Saturday 23rd MELBOURNE, The Thornbury Theatre

Sunday 24th BRISBANE, The Triffid

Tickets on sale: Wednesday 28th November @ 10:00am local

TIX @ https://tickets.destroyalllines.com

Special VIP Packages will available – Including:

Front Seating Area Ticket
Early Access
VIP Lanyard
Stubby Holder
Meet & Greet
One Signed Item
Photo Opportunity

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